Tag Archives: BYOD

Bitdefender have updated their GravityZone cloud console with some new features over the weekend and here at Blue Solutions we are happy to guide you through these changes and how they will affect you and your customers.

Anti-Ransomware

The big news is that Bitdefender has now incorporated Anti Ransomware vaccine to all its cloud customers, and will be rolling this out through the on-premise version on Tuesday 27th Sep 2016.  This module is activated through the policy section  Antimalware --> On Access settings

Gravityzone Ransomware Vaccine Policy Setting
Gravityzone Ransomware Vaccine Policy Setting

By activating this module, machines will be protected from all currently known forms of Ransomware.

Other New Features

Update Rings - this feature allows Administrators of the program to  chose when in the validation cycle an update is received.

Anti-Exploit Techniques - a new set of powerful techniques which further enhances existing technologies to fight targeted attacks.  These are integrated into the existing Advanced Threat Control module.

Web Access Control Rules - The categories list has been updated with multiple new categories added.

Exchange Protection - This can now be enabled/disabled when editing a customer with a monthly license subscription.

 

The above features are now in place for all current users of Bitdefender Gravityzone in the cloud and will be rolled out to Bitdefender Gravityzone on-premise users from the 27th Sep 2016.

For more details on the above features and a look at the other features included please click here

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We already said that BYOD is one of the most significant trends affecting enterprises. It brings many new challenges but it also comes with a bunch of opportunities, and a lot of advanced tools to help the IT people embracing it having efficient implementations today.

This is not about making the company more social, it is that BYOD has the potential to change the nature of the companies for the better giving them the ability to offer a variety of mobile apps to ALL employees, regardless of their position, OS, and device that would enhance, accelerate an make them more productive. This would be the environment where an IT manager would be running a “New Age Company”.

This kind of company , transformed by the mobile applications, changes from every angle and every area. Even the perpetually busy teams usually not fond of social technologies like the legal ones would use the mobile apps and become more productive.

byod_common

When they realize the possibilities, all these departments will be coming to IT. Then, You, the IT leader, will stand out for your ability to initiate innovation within the organization. By enabling all departments to connect more closely with employees and customers, IT will be the team driving increased productivity, as well as improved customer and employee experience.

Today we will explore different apps scenarios in several departments, this may provide you with some Tips & Tricks that you may apply in your own working environment. This may be specially important because despite the fact that employees started the BYOD trend, some have mixed feelings about their being connected with their teams and bosses 24/7. Mobile capabilities let the managers have more control over the work force, so it becomes important to come to a work-life balance.

Let's analyze the BYOD performance, benefits, and issues in some of the key areas in enterprises.

Human Resources: A lot has been said about using mobile apps to streamline processes, increase productivity and enhance the client experience. But what about improving the working environment making employees feel connected, supported and empowered. Using applications such as short surveys, it is possible to measure the employees sentiment. Some others to help automating and accelerating the processes. A New Age Enterprise enables HR to creat a strong connection with employees, empowering their communication and performance even if they are remote or home office workers. HR can easily interact with employees and manage the relationship with them, this creates loyalty bonds. Loyal satisfied employees make a more productive team that also attracts other high quality possible employees.

Marketing: Marketing is already one of the biggest consumer of technology in the organizations, also is the one of the areas with a stronger BYOD activity. According to a recent article in Information Week US, Marketing is the area that is using a self IT budget. Marketing has already jumped to mobile and their success depends on the company's ability to help them operating and moving key corporate information in a secure mobile environment. They will be grateful when there are guidelines procedures to allow this New Age Company to move full steam ahead.

"Marketing is a peculiar area where the creativity temperance and the pragmatical business parameters mixed together towards competitiveness. Amongst many other things marketing wants employees to

byodidentify with the brand and products, so a set of apps may be developed to create brand awareness both inside and outside the company. Moreover marketing managers want whole access to important company data in dashboards and reports; as well a full access to social media. That could be a dangerous combination if not subject to policies and procedures." Stated John Timko, Marketing Director  in LabTech Software.

Finance: CFOs are also finding that apps make their lives easier according to the article entitled Apps Make Everyday Life Easier for CFOs in CFO-Insight Magazine. CFOs want  apps to get the latest news from the financial world, compare interest rates and view the financial figures of their company – and perhaps compare them to competitors, quickly, before they even get to the office. It's true that financial apps started to procure information; however they have become  way to  optimize financial processes. For example, a "New Age Company" may have apps for finance to make it easier to managers to analyze data and take quicker decisions. There could be also apps for clients, so they can easily apply for loans, or credit cards. With the help of IT, the "New Age Companies"  can create secure access to corporate back-end corporate systems from any where in the world allowing them to give continuity to the financial processes that sometime stops when the manager to authorize is not present.

Sales: Sales can become more productive and efficient when they have mobile access to integrated back-end applications like CRMs and ERPs that give them a 360 degree view of the products' and services' performance and the clients' purchase trends and cycles; as well as their credit and payment  history.

BYOD gives IT a springboard to lead the New Age Companies revolution. Once the managers and all departments understand the possibilities, they will go to the ITs to develop and deploy multiple applications, big and small.

By Monica Paul, Marcomtec Group

In our first part I talked about the considerations when defining BYOD policies, I provided some statistics of the BYOD trend worldwide. But the last word I not in the organizations’ side but in the employees and devices’ owners’ side.

Considering that the main company principle goal toward the mobile devices is intended to equip the workforce with the most appropriate mobile devices to enhance their productivity and performance in the role they play, the BYOD users should take on account that this is not including them performing their work in the most comfortable way or having the tools they want for their personal activities and amusement.

Everybody talks from the company’s perspective, but what about the employees’ view? Employees using their own devices to perform work tasks are doing this to have a more comfortable work environment, since the mobile device allows them to execute some activities in less time, making them more productive and maybe giving them more time to enjoy with their families or in personal activities. The other day, I invited a friend I’d not seen in a long time to have a drink, she’d be regularly attached to her office at that time, but loading the CRM app in her iPad allowed her to go to have a drink with me instead of being alone in her office just waiting for the information to perform a task in the CRM, that – by the way – took her not long that five minutes.

From our perspective, she spent her time in a better way, she was able to avoid stay late in at work, and instead he had some fun and relaxed herself; after doing her work through her iPad, she posted some funny pics in Facebook, sent a message to her teenage son, and we even check on some stuff in the internet. We would buy some tickets to go to the movies that weekend.

The company where she works is not giving her an iPad or any other tablet to do her work in a remote way; they are not interested in having her leaving the office early and having a more relaxed yet productive life.

According to John Timko, LabTech Software Marketing Director and expert in mobile monitoring and management, the MDM tools would be only monitoring the corporate apps and data. This sounds great from the technological perspective, if an agent was installed in my personal smartphone or iPad, my device would be even safer.

Yet, some questions about the companies’ policies pop up now. What if the carrier and plan I want is not included in their policies? What if apps I want to install in my mobile device are not allowed by their policies? What if I want to have different roaming or international configurations?  I assume that if the company is going to save some money instead of giving me a device because I am using my personal one, they would at least share some of the expenses with me. If I don’t agree to use my own device, is the company going to give one without deteriorating my life quality? Or, am I obligated to accept the company’s conditions to maintain this life quality and productivity levels, or do I have to choose between having a good life and being productive, when I know I may have both?

BYOD is not only for companies to consider and define policies, it is also for the owners of the devices to decide whether they want to give this benefit to their employer, if it is going to be appreciated, or if they would just ask to be given a mobile device for work purposes. This negotiation and decision is a consideration for the mobile devices owners.

Monica Paul, Marcomtec Group

BYOD-program-diagramMany opinions have been given about the policies and decisions that the companies have to take regarding the BYOD mobile phones and even company owned ones. Statistics tell us that BYOD is a growing trend.

The firm Gartner for example states BYOD as a “disruptive phenomenon” where employees use their own mobile devices in the company and demands to be connected to servers, etc. without the proper oversight. According to the firm, 70% of mobile professionals will conduct their work on personal smart devices by 2018.

According to Magic’s State of BYOD Infographic there are already 1 billon smartphone users around the world, with 1.3 billion smartphone and tablet sales expected in 2013. Of course this attracts the IT department’s attention as they would need to provide support to all these devices connecting to their corporate networks.

While most networks have been supporting the corporate BlackBerries, the trend is drastically shifting towards Apple and Android devices. IT departments report mobile apps being used not only in mobile email and web browsers, but social media, task and project management, CRM, and other apps that interact with corporate information.

No doubt that embracing the rise of BYOD represents the opportunity for IT to change their role from service providers and technology partners to leaders and business strategists. However taking this initiative requires identifying particular needs and setting clear policies as well as a powerful remote monitoring and mobile device management to have full control of the network. This can lead the company to a New Age of enterprise mobility enabling increased productivity and operational efficiencies, securely and cost-effectively.

Defining the rules may involve various factors in the company.

  • The mobility policy guiding and principles
  • Repercussions if policy is breached
  • The definitions – mobile device either smartphones and tablets
  • The corporate liable devices
  • The employee liable devices – BYOD
  • The liable carriers and rate plans for both the company and the employee devices
  • The international and roaming rules
  • The liable carrier features / services
  • The handset features / functions
  • The mobility management and monitoring of both the company and employees devices
  • The expense management either for company and employees devices
  • The applications and information management in both smartphones and tablets
  • The security of the mobiles and the network
  • The mobile data access
  • Help desk and support

This is said about the companies but what about the devices’ owners?

Monica Paul, Marcomtec Group

BYOD and New Network Requirements

Adopting BYOD increases the bandwidth usage, deteriorating the performance of other devices and applications in the network. This becomes definitely a pain instead of the expected advantage.

According to BT and Cisco’s research, the companies implementing BYOD practices should reinforce their networks, their security and obtain complete control of all the devices in them whether they are mobiles or not, to accomplish their planned productivity.

According to research based in 2,200 surveys to executives and companies in 13 countries along the different regions, the growth of mobiles devices is exponential and has increased the bandwidth usage in 84%. Actually, 56% of IT managers have detected a lower performance in the network and certain applications as a result of the increased bandwidth consumption. This impacts the devices’ maintenance processes and updates as well.

These negative effects are perceived by the employees; 46% of the employees with Wi-Fi access have detected delays in connecting to the network, in the applications deployment and performance, and in their devices updating, briefing, their systems whether mobiles or not have become slower in every mean. 76% of the professionals that responded to the survey think that companies should take the needed measures to increase the productivity, security, and performance. From the surveyed TI professionals, 33% suggested working with more applications based in Cloud, 32% suggested using specialized software, and 32% suggested increasing support to mobile devices users.

BYOD RMM

 

This is clearly one of the most common pains produced by the innovative mobile revolution. Now read this:

Even though having a Wi-Fi access is fundamental to a BYOD development, 45% of the employees do not have Wi-Fi access to their corporate networks. Of this number 68% thinks that having this access would turn into a positive impact on their work, 30% said it would increase their flexibility at work, and 26% said it would ease their contact within the company.

Network capacity is definitely not the only challenge to consider when adopting BYOD. Actually, 84% of the surveyed IT professionals said that BYOD could be a competitive advantage only if the necessary processes, tools, and policies are adopted; 26% think that employees understand the requirements to get the access and permissions for their mobile devices.

RMM and MDM are definitely one of these requirements; a properly applied continuous RMM/MDM policy allows the IT professionals to control the installation, deployment and performance of each application and device whether it is BYOD or not. RMM/MDM tolls also control the corporate information security and access in the network help

ing it to improve its performance. Additionally, the regular RMM/MDM processes reinforce security policies along the network, devices and corporate information.

Gordon Thompson, EMEA Enterprise Network Director in Cisco, stated that they already have a BYOD model. They started in 2009 only with smart phones, achieving savings of 25% on cost-per-employee. They recently added 82% more devices to their base increasing the number of users by28%. He added that companies intending to implement BYOD definitely have to consider a BYOD comprehensive plan beyond the operating system; they have to consider the device support and maintenance, , the end user experience and the increased productivity.

John Timko, Marketing Director at LabTech Software, explained that RMM/MDM services, IT networks and application performance work hand-in-hand. RMM certainly improves the network and devices’ performance.

Timko added that in a nutshell, the appropriate RMM and MDM services together with high performing network hardware and software can deliver any IT support and management task or process that needs to be accomplished remotely, efficiently and non-intrusively, giving the support and performance needed to achieve the desired productivity, and end-user experience and at the same time reinforcing security and information availability.

The smart phones and tablets trend is to continue growing, and companies need to develop BYOD plans, so they imminently need a cost-effective RMM and of course MDM solution. The market is there, opened and in need, waiting for experienced RMM and MDM services and solutions provider to help them achieve their performance goals.

Monica Paul, Marcomtec Group

 

The Infographic (pictured right) is created by one of our vendor partners, Trend Micro. It suggests (putting it bluntly) that employees can take much of the blame for data protection breaches. 78 per cent of organisations have suffered from at least one data breach over the past two-years, but only 8 per cent cited external attacks as the main reason. Loss of laptops and other mobile devices is the biggest failing. It looks like us employees could be responsible!

BYOD

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is rather under rated on this Infographic. It only makes number 10 on the riskiest employee practices list. However, I think the risk could be much higher, especially in SMBs. Using the right software, large businesses, which have their own “fleets of IT” can control device access, website access, data encryption, applications, and in the event of device loss, remotely wipe data too. SMBs by contrast rarely provide staff with devices for work use, but still need to protect (but probably don’t) corporate data held or accessed (intentionally or by accident) using an employee’s own device.

Legislation will only increase

Personally, I don’t think individuals are all entirely to blame. They may lose the devices or cause the data breach, but SMB owners also need to take data protection more seriously. For one thing, legislation in this area will only increase. It is interesting that the research behind the infographic suggests only 43 per cent of organisations protect sensitive information with data protection technology. I should imagine in SMBs that figure is much lower.

Consultancy first, product sell second

The Infographic really highlights some sweeping trends, but for me the biggest point on data protection is that every company is different; every company operates with different levels of protection sophistication. The biggest opportunities for resellers right now – with support from consultancy-led distributors and vendors - is to sell consultancy services to end-user customers. Consultancy first, product sell second. Resellers should now be working with business owners to provide security audits, to really understand how their businesses operate and then to help them find the security holes. In many cases, owners simply don’t realise they have a security hole!